Security fencing going up around bridges on N.J. Turnpike, Garden State Parkway

    New fencing designed to deter terrorist attempts is being installed around all the major bridges on the New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway.

    The 8-foot fences are part of a $7 million project funded by the federal Department of Homeland Security.

    The fencing will be an effective deterrent, according to retired Newark police lieutenant Jim O’Connor is a security consultant and certified anti-terrorism specialist.

    “Currently everything is open in certain areas, which makes checking that infrastructure difficult because you’re just driving by and it’s an open area,” said O’Connor, now a security consultant and certified anti-terrorism specialist.

    “This fencing that’s put in is not something you can just easily cut and can get into. It’s got a strong base. It’s wired so, as a security officer or a local police officer or state trooper is driving by, if there’s a problem with the fence, he’ll be able to tell immediately,” he said.

    O’Connor says the fencing could help prevent terrorists from blowing up a bridge or causing other extensive damage.

    “All it takes is one incident where they blow up a bridge or blow up a tunnel or something along that line and we’d be out of action for a year or two to put the thing back together,” he said.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal